ISLAMABAD -  Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Friday directed the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) to present a roadmap within 24 hours for clearing the backlog in registration and price fixation of various drugs.

The prime minister directed this, while chairing a meeting on issues related to the NHS.

The meeting was attended by NHS Minister Saira Afzal Tarar and other senior officials.

On the issue of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), the prime minister also directed officials to facilitate local drug manufacturers along with international manufacturers.

Abbasi also directed the officials to formulate a comprehensive plan for expanding outreach of Prime Minister’s National Health Programme (PMNHP) to all parts of the country and to provide relief to the poor segments of the society.

He further said that the regulatory mechanism regarding registration of drugs and pricing policy should be further simplified as to facilitate drugs manufacturers and to create a win-win situation for the consumers as well as the drugs producers and importers.

“Comprehensive proposals should be placed before the cabinet and necessary legislation, in case needed, be put in place for addressing the issues being faced vis-à-vis further facilitating drugs regulatory regime in the country,” he said.

The minister, while briefing the prime minister informed that the government had undertaken major reforms especially in the last over two years in diverse areas including introduction of a comprehensive Drug Pricing Policy, launching of the PMNHP, increase in coverage of children vaccinated under Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI), significant reduction of polio cases in the country, launch of Prime Minister’s  programme for the treatment of fatal diseases, and successful negotiation under the National Immunisation Support Program for financial sustainability of immunisation services for women and children.

Tarar said the PMNHP was started in 26 districts in the first phase and would be covering over three million families.

The minister said that it was the largest public health initiative in the country.

The prime minister appreciated the progress being made under the national health programme and directed the ministry to work closely with the provincial governments in order to expand its outreach.

Discussing issues concerning the DRAP, Abbasi observed that regulatory policies and framework should aim at facilitating international as well as local drugs manufacturers and aim at promoting healthy competition among the producers.

He said that that the government was endeavouring to put in place a congenial environment for businesses to flourish and markets to grow further.

Abbasi observed that the regulators’ job was to protect the consumers and facilitate business community to the maximum possible extent.


Our Staff Reporter